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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Who Quares?

You might remember the hoopla that followed the announcement that newly elected U.S. Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) would place his hand on a copy of the Quran for his swearing in ceremony earlier this month. People got all huffy about it. Now the ACLU is challenging a North Carolina law that has witnesses place their hand on the Bible to swear in before testifying in a court hearing.** A Jewish and a Muslim plaintiff would like persons speaking before the court to have the option of being sworn in with the Bible, the Quran, or the Old Testament. Again, there is big hoopla.

Asking someone who isn’t Christian to swear on a bible is like asking me to swear an oath on Treason by Ann Coulter. You would be asking me to wager my promise of honesty against my relationship with someone who I think is the Queen of the Harpies.* What about THAT guarantees I will tell the truth? The answer is nothing. This coincidentally is also the answer to the question “What does Ann Coulter do to change the fact that she is a terrible human being…and Queen of the Harpies?”

*This is not to imply that this is how non-Christians feel about the Bible, I'm just saying that having somebody swear an oath on a book they don't believe in is the same as crossing your fingers behind your back when you pinky swear. It erases everything you just agreed to. Duh.

**See a clarification of the North Carolina law in the comments section. You don't HAVE to use a Bible to swear in, but if you want to swear an oath on a religious text the Bible is the only book you CAN use. I just realized that this post made it sound like you HAD to swear on the Bible. You don't. But if you are somebody who feels like you can't tell the truth unless you have sworn to your higher power, you are SOL if you aren't a Christian.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't realize you still put your hand on the bible. I thought you just raised your right hand and swore to tell the truth.

4:57 PM

Blogger scooterlulu said...

Anonymous...You are correct. In North Carolina you can swear in with the Bible, with a simple "So help me God", or without either. The issue in NC is that people who would like their oath to have a religious spin can only opt for the Bible. Those who would like to swear on something, would like to have some options.

If anyone would like to swear in for something using a copy of the GTB, please let me know. I would be happy to print it out in its entirety for you. -Lulu

5:04 PM

5:17 PM

Blogger scooterlulu said...

I went ahead and clarified this point at the bottom of that post. -Lulu

5:23 PM

Blogger (A Little) Gris Gris said...

Admittedly I did not give the blog a thorough read this evening. It's late, I'm tired. But, what, you can swear on a comic book or Us Magazine, but not the Quran? Way to go NC!

11:50 PM


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